Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Whether you've been gathering wild mushrooms, tried your hand at growing your own, or just found a great deal at the local supermarket, you can preserve those tasty morsels. Fresh mushrooms keep about a week in the refrigerator. If you won't use your supply in that timeframe, it's worth learning how to freeze mushrooms.
The way to succeed with freezing mushrooms is to start with the freshest ones you can find. Good candidates for freezing should look and smell fresh. Avoid any with decaying or dark spots, or ones that are dried out or shriveled. The odor should be pleasant and musky, not rotten. Look for locally grown mushrooms at farmers' markets. Some supermarkets carry locally wild-harvested mushrooms in season.
Mushrooms are mostly water and if you freeze them raw, they tend to become mushy. This consistency works okay in soups, casseroles, and stews, but it's not the best result you can achieve. If you prepare the mushrooms first, either using traditional steam blanching or sautéing, you'll be able to use those mushrooms in more ways in the kitchen.
Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time
Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.
Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?
Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes
While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.
Freeze Spinach for Soups and More
While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.
Can You Freeze Kale?
Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.
Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze
Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.
Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor
While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.
Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.
How Do You Freeze Eggplant?
Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.
Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year
Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.
Steps to Freezing Cabbage
Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.
Freeze Celery for Soups
Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.
Overstocked on Mushrooms?
Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.
No matter which method you choose, you'll need to clean mushrooms first. Most cooks avoid washing them, because it tends to make them mushy. Check mushrooms carefully, brushing off any visible dirt. Trim stem ends. To freeze raw mushrooms, individually quick freeze them first on a parchment-lined tray. Once mushrooms are frozen, place them into freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.
If you plan to blanch mushrooms using steam, first sort mushrooms by size. This step is necessary because blanching times vary based on mushroom size. If individual mushrooms are larger than an inch across, slice or quarter them. To keep mushrooms from darkening during blanching, soak them for five minutes in a solution of 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1.5 teaspoons citric acid in 1 pint of water.
To blanch, add mushrooms to steamer basket over boiling water. Steam whole mushrooms 5 minutes, buttons or quarters 3.5 minutes, and slices 3 minutes. Cool mushrooms quickly by placing them in ice water for the same amount of time you steamed them. Strain, then place mushrooms in airtight freezer bags or containers.
Frozen steamed mushrooms work well in any dish, from stroganoff, to quiche, to pizza. For dishes not heading into a hot oven, like soup or quinoa, add frozen mushrooms about 20 minutes before cooking time is complete. If adding frozen mushrooms to stir fries, add just a few at a time to avoid cooling the pan. For best flavor, use frozen steamed mushrooms within a year.
Another option is to sauté mushrooms before freezing. Sauté mushrooms in a small amount of hot oil or butter. Feel free to add salt, pepper, onions, or other favorite seasonings. Sautee mushrooms about 4 minutes—until they're almost fully cooked. Allow mushrooms to cool, then pack into freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. You can also individually quick freeze sautéed mushrooms on a parchment-lined tray before packing into freezer containers.
Sautéeing mushrooms before freezing produces a firmer product after freezing. Use these mushrooms in ways similar to steamed mushrooms—adding to quiche, stir fries, pizza, or pasta dishes. For best flavor, use sautéed frozen mushrooms within nine months.
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Corn
- Freezing Zucchini: A Great Way to Chill Out
- How to Freeze Broccoli
- How to Freeze Okra
- Freezing Eggplant
- Can You Freeze Celery?
- Freezing Onions
- Freezing Cabbage
- Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?